Have you found what is your why in life? A child always asks us why. Instinctively we know, even when very young, that the most important part of any story is the motivation behind it.
Your why is the purpose, cause, or belief that drives you and others as well. Mark Twain had a great quote on this subject: He said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
How do you find your why? Think about your life and ask yourself, “What truly makes me tick?”
If you know your purpose in life, you can live your life with integrity. When you know your purpose, you will know who, what, and why you are. You will find that it becomes easier to live your life in a way that is true to your core values.
Finding Your Purpose
Finding your purpose allows you to feel good with your position in life. Actions you take have a sense of meaning to you. Our purpose allows us to align our inner self and our outer one.
Dr. Kate Siner at katesiner.com says, “Whatever you want or dream you can have. It’s already in you. You’re the one you’ve been waiting for.” Your search for purpose is not found outside yourself; it is in you and is a natural expression of who you are.
Your dreams provide clues to your deep inner desires. Following these desires can help you connect to your purpose. It is not necessarily your vocation. It is less about the work you want to do and more how you desire to impact the world.
If you pay attention to your forward progress, you will notice that past signposts will define your future path. Ask yourself some questions. Write down your answers, and then think about them. Some things should start becoming clear to you.
See if you can take all those things you wrote and combine them in one sentence. This could be your “why” or your purpose in life.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What really makes me tick?
- Why do I do what I do?
- What do I most like or dislike about my present job?
- What makes up a great day for me?
- What does success look like to me?
- What does failure look like?
- How can I make an impact on the world?
Then think about these four things:
- What can happen that will make me come alive?
- Do I know my innate strengths?
- Where in life do I add the greatest value?
- With what yardstick will I measure my life?
Money should not be your goal, and striving for money is not enough. Don’t be distracted by the search for gold. Instead, pursue what you love and what you love doing. A great story does not have to be dramatic, but it does have to be genuine.
Some Factors To Think About
Mark Manson has a unique and entertaining style of writing. Look him up on https://markmanson.net.
He says that when you ask what you should do with your life, or what is your life purpose, you are actually asking what you can do with your life that is important.
One thing he says you need to decide is what struggle or sacrifice you are willing to tolerate. At times everything in your life seems not to work. Life involves some sacrifice and some cost.
What kinds of unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? In Mark’s words, “What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Might as well pick one with an olive.”
He reminds us that we often lose touch with what we loved as a child. When we’re young, we’re taught that the only reason we should do anything is if we are somehow rewarded for it. We forget those things that we just did because we enjoyed doing them.
What Is Your Passion?
What is your passion? What envelops your attention so completely that you forget to eat? Think about this passion, because you will find clues to your purpose there. Use your passion to help you build the business of your dreams
Manson recommends that you do things that embarrass you. Let your vulnerability show. Don’t avoid anything that could be potentially embarrassing because then you may never end up doing something that feels important.
It’s called pushing your boundaries. One such challenge for me will be making a video for Wealthy Affiliate. I know it is something I will have to do eventually, and it could very well be an embarrassment. But I will grow.
If you fantasize about doing something but don’t do it because you are concerned about what people will think, you are damaging yourself. Don’t avoid doing something you really care about just because it scares you. Great things, by their very nature, will turn out to be unique, even if they are inconvenient.
At one stage of my life, I did a little mountain climbing. I was scared of rappelling (going down) until I tried it. Then I found that I loved it. When instead of being afraid we have fun, we have learned a good lesson.
Manson says, “embrace embarrassment.” Feeling foolish is part of the path you will follow to achieve something that is important and meaningful. If a major life decision scares you, then that is all the more reason why you need to make that decision.
What will you do to save the world? If you want to live a happy and healthy life, your values should reach beyond your own pleasure or fulfillment.
Passion is not the cause of action, but the result of it. Think about what you are passionate about. You will not know exactly how you feel about an activity until you try doing it.
Write down a few actions you might try to do, then go out and actually do them. You get bonus points if you actually embarrass yourself.
In our small community, a local artist has built a stage at the end of his studio, with lights and a sound system. Here, on music nights, some of our young people who are aspiring musicians will have their first opportunity to perform before an audience. Maybe the young person will be embarrassed by their first try, but they crossed the boundary and next time it will be easier.
What If You Only Have A Year To Live?
If you were going to die one year from today, how would you spend your year and how would you like to be remembered? What will be your legacy? What stories will people tell about you when you are no longer here? Write your obituary.
People who feel like they have no sense of direction or purpose don’t know what is important to them. See if you can write some answers that will show what things are important to you.
In a post from https://rockwoodleadership.org, they state that purpose is the inspiration for why we do what we do. It’s like the gas in a car. That fuel keeps you going no matter where you’re headed or how long your journey might be. Your purpose is not your destination, but the fuel that gets you there.
Purpose is such a useful tool. Because it is the fuel that gets you there, it will grow as you do, deepening and evolving as time goes on.
The Rockwood Leadership Institute also includes in this post a list of 132 of the best questions to help you reflect on your purpose. These questions furnish a great resource for you if you seriously want to figure out your life. Here is a link to that article on their website.
There was a period of 10 years when I was a member of a MLM (Multilevel Marketing) company called Nikken. It is a great company. One of the things they encourage you to do early on after you join is to go to this two-day workshop called “Humans Being More.” It’s a wonderful and inspirational meeting, with many out-of-the-box exercises done together as a group.
The final exercise was to write our life’s purpose. Here is what I came up with:
My purpose is to live joyfully and in harmony with Mother Earth and her children; to wear the mantle of servant leadership; to write down what my lessons teach me, and to teach what I have learned to those who follow me.
That purpose resonates with me, so it must be correct. I find it uncanny that here, in my 80th year I find myself part of an organization that allows me to fulfill my purpose fully and completely. It fits! I am definitely in the right place! Come and join me. It’s a great place to be.
10 thoughts on “What Is Your Why In Life”
Your writing voice sounds young and when I came to the end of your article and read that you are in your 80th year, I thought, “wow, really?” I feel like I was meant to read your post today, since I am going through a little financial crisis right now and as a result I am focusing on my finances … But what makes me tick? What is my purpose? Why am I here and Who am I really? That’s what matters most. You pose some good questions here. I have answered many of them during my life, but I still need to answer a few more.
I like what Kate Siner says: “Whatever you want or dream you can have. It’s already in you.” Exactly, it’s already in us, and I knew that, but I still forget at times. I think many people do.
Thank you for sharing this post. It was just what I needed today.
How very true — whatever you dream is already in you — the universe will give it all to us if we just allow the time for the seed (our idea) to grow. If you know your true purpose in life, it will help your success, because you will know if you are on the right track.
I belonged to an MLM company that sent us to a workshop called “Humans Being More.” After a couple of days of out-of-the-box exercises and lessons, we were given time and materials so we could write our purpose. I was so stoked to have done that. If you really want to do the same, go back to my article and get the web address for the company that supplies the list of questions for finding your purpose. They will get you there.
Thank you for sharing your views in life. You have been fulfilling your purpose of helping others through these inspirational articles. It’s motivational in a way that it helps the reader to assess capability and move forward and help others and self as well.
I have been teaching for almost a decade now and I truly enjoy it but I always wish that i can do more and explore in a diverse community, I also want to put up my own food business and be more active in community involvement but my time is so tied up. I’m afraid when time comes and it’ll be too late to do all things that I want.
I am still unsure of what’s gonna happen. I know I’m still in the right track – I’m fulfilling my marriage and parental responsibilities, I help my students but something is still missing. Later, I’m gonna go back with your reflective questions and try to assess myself. I hope you’ll be blessed with more years to help people.
Thank you for your comment. It is always an enlightening moment when you figure out your “why.” You get a better idea as to whether you are on the right life track or not. It is an interesting exercise in getting better acquainted with yourself.
The list of questions on the source I recommended is totally excellent. To give yourself an in-depth look at who you are, where you are, and where you want to go, look at that list.
Thank you for this post. It really gets you thinking.
I have to admit, when I started my online business, I wanted to make money. That was my driving goal. Still, I didn’t feel motivated or fulfilled. I quickly discovered I had a passion for sharing and helping others. I wasn’t looking for this epiphany but there it was.
The various factors to consider and scenarios to run through your mind really help you to find your “calling” and I really appreciate the sandwich metaphor, although I’d opt for the avocado over the olive, personally.
Thanks for this. It put a smile on my face.
Scott, perhaps you have found your true calling in sharing and helping others. Your goal may be changed just a bit with that knowledge, but know that when you help others, your own rewards will more than equal what you offered in help. I think you are on the right track…and, guess what? It could well be that your money will come, too, and all because you are sharing and helping.
To tell you the truth, I’d rather have the avocado as well.
As the type of person that needs a daily dose of motivation and inspiration, I love your website. Since there is not an email signup, I will be bookmark it so that I can come back.
Lately I’ve been a bit concerned that I might be confused as to what my “why?” is. I am passionate about too many things. Tomorrow morning, in my “thinking time” I will carefully consider some of the questions that you mentioned in this post. I don’t want to discover that I’ve been climbing up the wrong mountain or the wrong ladder.
Thank you for sharing your beautifully written purpose with us. It is even more exciting to know that you can comfortably say that, even at 80, you are living life with purpose. You are exactly where you are meant to be and helping others in the process.
Thank you for your comment, Sondra. I am very happy that you found the post helpful. If you really want to try to figure out how to put your purpose in writing, you might go to the list of questions I suggested in the post. It is on https://rockwoodleadership.org.
Yes, I do think it was helpful to puzzle out my purpose and come up with something that resonates with me. Learning that was a very worthwhile thing. Hopefully in your think time you can come up with some answers.
Hi Fran, I’m no stranger to exploring “why” both through my personal experiences and helping others as you have so eloquently done here. I have always known my own and I guess in that respect I have been very fortunate. Having said that, I’m human and have drifted away from the path on numerous occasions in search of . . . well, I’ve not always been sure of what and more often than not it’s been the pull of insistent influences outside my self. The beautiful thing is though that I’ve always been very aware when my course has drifted from the path and sooner or later have smiled and felt at home again when stepping back onto the way. I believe we all know our why and did so from the moment we set foot onto this beautiful world until outside influences edged our why to the fringes of our existence until we re-discovered it. It might also be argued that when we do discover our “why” it’s because the time is right and the teacher has arrived.
Thank you for this wonderful post.
Thank you, Steve, for telling us about your path. I believe you are right — at some level, we know our “why” but we can’t always put it into words. It is very helpful to be able to figure it out and write it down. Then we can read it over when we need a reminder. Possibly you are right about the right moment arriving and the teacher appearing. I think that is what happened to me.
Thanks for reading the post, and am glad you enjoyed it.